THOUSANDS TO PROTEST AGAINST EDUCATION FUNDING CUTS TOMORROW
Thousands of teachers and lecturers from across the country will gather for a protest March and Rally in Glasgow tomorrow (Saturday 6th March). The Demonstration is part of a campaign organised by the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) to defend Scottish education and protect the funding of education in schools, colleges and universities. The campaign is entitled "Why must our children pay? and argues that Scotland's pupils and students should not be forced to pay for the mistakes of others by having their education damaged due to budget cutting.
Commenting on the Rally and the aims of the campaign, EIS General Secretary Ronnie Smith said, "The strength of support for tomorrow's March and Rally will send a clear message to both local and national government, and they must now sit up and take notice. Our campaign has won widespread support, not just from teachers and lecturers, but also from parents and grandparents, pupils and students and also from a number of prominent politicians from a wide range of political affiliations. It is through coordinated and sustained action that we have the best chance of achieving success in the campaign to protect Scottish education and its funding.
Mr Smith added, "It is greatly encouraging that so many people, from all parts of the country, will be offering their support to Scottish education. The fact that teachers and lecturers from all sectors of education will be marching alongside parents, pupils, students and others shows that there is real unity in the support for our education system. We know that there is a great deal of public anger that our schools, colleges and universities and our children and young people are faced with cuts in order to pay for the bail-out of failed financial institutions.
Mr Smith continued, "Our schools, colleges and universities perform very well and offer a high-quality education to children and young people of all backgrounds and from all parts of the country. And they do so without big bailouts or bonuses, with teams of highly skilled and dedicated staff who are motivated not by the size of their pay packet but by the genuine desire to provide the best opportunity for our young people.
"Money allocated to education is not a cost, but an investment in our children and in the future prosperity of our entire country. How can Scotland be expected to compete in an increasingly competitive global economy without a highly educated, highly skilled workforce? As the world emerges from its current economic downturn, it is those countries who have continued to invest in education and training that will be best placed to recover quickly, said Mr Smith.
He added, "Tomorrow's event is just the beginning of the Why must our Children pay? campaign. While this will be a key first step in attracting public support to our cause, we must continue to build momentum and support in weeks and months to come. Only by continuing to highlight the cause of Scottish education in every forum possible in schools and colleges, on the streets, in the media, in town halls and other seats of government - both local and national can we hope to achieve our ultimate goal of halting the damaging cuts to education spending in Scotland.
"There is much to fight for and tomorrow, with the help of teachers, lecturers, parents and students from across the country, we will take a major step in defending Scottish education from the threats that face it. There is a great deal at stake but we cannot allow Scottish education, and the pupils and students of Scotland, to suffer through no fault of their own.
For further information visit www.eis.org.uk/campaign
March & Rally details:
10.30 Kelvingrove Park Assembly Point (Kelvin Way South entrance)
11.00 March to S.E.C.C via Glasgow City Centre
12.00 Rally at Clyde Auditorium